Indiana Dunes National Park

Recently, we visited Chicago and Indiana to see family and show the kids some fun there. During this trip, we visited a national park! And we got see a newly designated one!

Indiana Dunes National Park sits along the southern shore of Lake Michigan in northwestern Indiana. This national lakeshore became a national park as of February this year.

We checked out the visitor center first and our kids become junior rangers there! As I’ve mentioned, you definitely need to check out the junior ranger activities at our national parks! Great way to get the kids involved and learn something!

At the center, we read up on the park, watched the short history film, and even bought our youngest a junior ranger vest and hat. ๐Ÿ˜

I love learning cool facts about the park like the fact that Lake Michigan took form 11,000 years ago when the Wisconsin glacier began to melt.

We headed to the shoreline and parked by the Kemil Road Access Point. We enjoyed seeing the lake and let the two kids skip some rocks.

We had to drive over and check out the park’s most dynamic dune, Mount Baldy. Mount Baldy stands 126 feet tall. To see this powerful dune, you need to take a short, fun trail to reach the beach from the parking area. It’s a fun little hike!

If you’re in the Chicago or Indiana area, check out our 61st national park and the first national Park in Indiana.

Day for Dads

Literature shares us with so many wonderful stories and people. We have met a number of pretty cool fathers in fiction over the years.ย  Here are a few of them:

  • Bob Cratchit, A Christmas Carol
  • Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Otto Frank, Diary of Anne Frank
  • Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
  • Gerald O’Hara, Gone with the Wind
  • Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter series
  • King Lear, King Lear
  • Horton, Horton Hatches the Egg

Many other awesome dads exist out there in fiction.ย  What other fictional fathers should we add to this list here?

Cheers to all the real dads out there today! Hopefully you get some time to read a great book today! Happy Father’s Day!

Bring a Friend ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‘ฃโค๏ธ

A few weeks ago, our daughter brought Bunny along on a hike. This weekend, Lilly, a purple stuffed bunny, joined us. And Lilly got to ride a Barbie scooter in the air! Pretty lucky stuffed animal! Woody and Buzz would be jealous!

Pre-children, I would have laughed seeing a purple bunny on a scooter out on a hike.

Now, it seems normal. And it makes a hike so much more fun for a 7 year old! She loved bringing her friend along for our 3 mile hike!

“Mommy, take lots of pictures of Lilly!” So, I did! It made me smile too!

Bring a friend and enjoy a hike! ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‘ฃAnd enjoy a smile! ๐Ÿ˜

P.S. It’s also a great way to celebrate a birthday!

National Trails Day ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Happy National Trails Day today!  Today kicks off the Great Outdoors Month of June!

Did you know that there are over 18,000 miles of trails in the national park system? And did you know that there are 158,000 miles of trails in national forests and grasslands? So, we have lots of trails to explore in the United States!

Enjoy this day and month and find a trail to enjoy!  Happy National Trails Day! ๐Ÿ‘ฃโ˜€๏ธ

Muir Woods

World Turtle Day ๐Ÿข

Happy World Turtle Day!WorldTurtleDay badge

American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization, created this day 17 years ago to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

Turtles are the most endangered group of vertebrates in the world. Of the 356 species of turtles and tortoises worldwide, about 61% of them are threatened or already extinct.

Adopt a turtle instead of buying one from the pet shops. Never remove or touch a turtle in the wild (unless they are sick or injured). If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up, and send it in the same direction it was going โ€“ if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again. Report any illegal sales of turtles or tortoises to animal control. Consider supporting of one the many nonprofit organizations out there working to protect these important animals to our world.

Happy World Turtle Day! ๐Ÿข

Crater Lake National Park

Happy 117th anniversary to Crater Lake National Park located in Oregon!

About 7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama erupted creating the deepest lake in the United States and the 9th deepest in the world.ย  With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is theย  one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. The water’s intense blue color is an indication of its great depth and purity. Surrounded by cliffs, the lake is fed entirely by rain and snow. Scientists consider Crater Lake to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.

My husband and I have journeyed to this national park twice.ย  Here are a few photos from our first excursion there in September 2007.

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Did you the see the lake in the second photo? Yep, we didn’t either on that trip! The snow and clouds came in fast and hid that beautiful lake. We still enjoyed being in the national park, but really wanted to see Crater Lake!

And here are a few photos from our second trip there in August 2016.

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We definitely saw this amazing lake on this trip! We really enjoyed seeing this spectacular lake as the blue color is really unique.

We also took in a hike in the woods there too as the lake is only part of the national park.ย  This national park has a ton of old-growth forests with towering ponderosa pines to ancient whitebark pines hosting many trails for hiking.

If you’re in the Oregon or Northern California area, I highly recommend checking out this national park. This lake will truly amaze and inspire you!